Summary: Paul took seriously the obviously impossible goal of being all things to all men. The result is, he had the potential for pleasing everybody, but also for aggravating everybody ,and Paul was quite good at both.

A lion, a fox, an a hyena were moving through the jungle collecting their

dinner. When they were done they had gotten a large pile of animals. The

lion said to the hyena, "Why don't you go over and divide the pile into three

equal parts." The hungry hyena said, "Sure." He quickly separated the dead

animals in three equal piles. Immediately the lion sprung to his feet, and

pounced on the hyena, and killed him. He then put the three piles back

together, and threw the hyena on top. Then he said to the fox, "Why don't you

go over and divide the pile into two equal parts." The fox shuffled over and

pulled out a crow and made that his pile, and he left all the rest for the

lion. The lion smiled and said, "Mr. fox, how did you learn to divide so

equally?" The fox answered, "The hyena taught me.

Learning can take place fast with the proper motivation. The Bible says

that Satan goes about like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. The wise

man learns fast that you don't eat this lion, or you will soon be a part of

the menu. But Satan is not the only lion in the Bible. In Rev. 5:5 Jesus is

called Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Paul learned fast that here is another

lion you don't mess with. Jesus sprung on Paul on the road to Damascus,

and He knocked him to the ground, blinded. Paul was persecuting his people,

and Jesus took it personal, just like a mother lion if someone is hurting her


The paradoxical difference in these two lions is that the goal of one is

to devour, and the goal of the other is to deliver. The Lion of the Tribe of

Judah attacked Saul of Tarsus and delivered him from a life of bondage to law,

and made him Paul the Apostle of liberty, with a Gospel of freedom and life

for all men. It was not the lion's bite, but the lion's light that penetrated

Paul, and made him a reflector of that light. This lion, and his prey, became

the awesome twosome who together made Christianity a world wide movement that

broke down the walls between Jews and Gentiles.

Paul was no lion tamer, but he had the paradoxical experience of being

tamed by this Lion of heaven, who was king, not of the jungle only, but of the

universe. Jesus became Paul's Lord and King, and from his conversion on, Paul

was a man with one priority-to do his Master's will. But what we want to see

is that being lion-tamed, that is under the Lordship of Christ, does not mean

one is robbed of their individuality and uniqueness. Paul, as a Christian,

was still a very complex man with a great deal of variety about him.

He is different from any of the other Apostles. The more we study him, the

more we will see he is the product of two worlds. He has both a strong Jewish

background, and a strong Gentile background. He is a hybrid, and brings

together in one personality some radical differences.

Paul took seriously the obviously impossible goal of being all things to

all men. The result is, he had the potential for pleasing everybody, but also

for aggravating everybody ,and Paul was quite good at both. As far as I can

weigh the evidence, he was the most wanted man in the New Testament-dead or

alive. There were more plots to kill Paul than there was against Jesus, and

all of the other Apostles put together. Paul made more people angry then any

other New Testament personality. He was the most criticized by non-Christians

and by Christians alike. He has been the most controversial man of the New

Testament throughout history, and still is today. People love him or hate

him, and sometimes it is the same people, for Paul can be so loving and yet so


James S. Stewart, the great preacher, said, "Paul can contradict himself,

can land himself at times in hopeless antinomy, can leap without warning from

one point of view to another totally different, can say in the same breath,

work out your own salvation, and it is God working in you, but through it all

and beneath it all there is a living unity and a supreme consistency...." His

consistency is that he was following his Lord, for Jesus was also a

paradoxical personality. Jesus said such things as, to save our life we must

lose it, to live we must die. Paul says, to conquer we must surrender. Jesus

says, to be exalted we must be humble. Paul says, to be wise we must become

fools. Jesus said, to be first we must be last. Paul said, to be strong we

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